New Ragley Prototype Revealed

by Chipps 60

You’d think that being a mile from the heavily disguised and fortified Ragley Design HQ we’d see a lot of Ragley prototypes whizzing past on the canal path, but no. We have to trawl around the internet like the rest of you in order to find the really juicy stuff. Unlike most people, though, we also have Brant’s phone number so we can call him to confirm details before making wild presumptions based on a quick look at a photo.

So, first, here’s the bike:

And now for the facts:

This is a mechanical prototype of the new Ragley FS. This is similar to the mules that are made by many other companies. Their purpose is to check that mechanically, the bike and the suspension bits all work as they should. This is done without particularly paying attention to the fine details of the rest of the bike and certainly not to the aesthetics. This bike, therefore, isn’t geometrically correct, and things like the angles and handling will be looked at in further prototype runs, but the suspension system is near-enough what the final models will have when they’re launched at Eurobike in September.

The suspension uses a Dual Link system, developed by Ragley and its Taiwanese factory that is very experienced in the suspension field. The shock is ‘floating’, although the lower link moves the shock laterally, rather than vertically. Interestingly, and getting the thumbs-up from most of the Singletrack test-crew is the speccing of disparate travel. So there’s more travel at the front than the rear; a concept we’ve found to work very well on modern bikes.

There will be two different travel versions: a 100/140mm bike and a 130/160mm bike. Pictured is the 130mm rear bike (though in keeping with the rough and ready nature of this prototype this has a 130mm fork, not a 140.)

The finished range will have two 26 and a 29in and all will feature disparate amounts of travel

There we are…

See for information on its 2011 range – and keep your eyes on Singletrack for more juicy stuff in the coming months.

Comments (60)

  1. Hopefully they keep the name as ‘Prototype Ragley-FS’, it’s got a nice industrial feel to it.

  2. been running bikes like this for some time, longer front than rear travel (usually against manufacturers recommendations), would be awesome with a dual position revelation giving 150mm/120mm

  3. Looks like a Trance

  4. Yep Trance lookalikey

  5. interesting. I thought of meastro suspension bikes too, but we can’t really see enough – they need to turn the bike round!

  6. I was thinking more Mondraker. Look forward to seeing a later version.

  7. Ragley?

    short travel?


    when can i have one?

  8. Do any existing bikes have a 130/160mm setup?
    Sounds interesting…

  9. The aesthetics aren’t that bad as they are…I quite like the industrial look.

    Would someone please explain why disparate travel is an advantage? I’m not knocking the concept (both my full suss bikes run slightly more travel up front, but by accident rather than design) but I’d be interested in the reasoning.

  10. fortunateson09: my cotic Hemlock is set at 130/160 – and it’s bloody great.

  11. Hmmm… a 130/160 of these may just be what I am looking for 🙂

  12. “Would someone please explain why disparate travel is an advantage?”

    Keeping the rear snappy while still providing the desired amount of skill compensation at the front?

  13. Disparate travel works pretty well on a hardtail doesn’t it? Take that concept and add more travel and you have a D.F.S (disparate full susser). There’s also something to say about the different forces that the wheels see – the front wheel has to take on the bumps head-on, with all the rider and bike weight behind it. The rear wheel has less weight behind it and is better at rolling over things.

  14. Looks like the ‘Free Floater’ suspension set-up on Pace RC405/506.

  15. Looks like it’ll build up well with rigid 29er front forks.

  16. anyone know what price it might be?

  17. Now I might have to change my mind about my next bike being an Orange 5, may well wait a bit just in case….

  18. So from my ‘who should build what bike’ thread a bit ago..

    Nukeproof should build a 140mm trail bike frame

    not far off then

  19. my old trance worked best with a 130mm fork at the front with 100mm at the back. Never worried about DFS.

  20. @Fortunateson09 “Do any existing bikes have a 130/160mm setup?”

    yes the Banshee/Mythic Spitfire. I’m running it exactly like that and it’s a sweet ride. Adjustable geo via the shock point: low or high bb, slack or steep head angle (or install a cane creek angleset like I did and have even more adjustability…

  21. “Looks like it’ll build up well with rigid 29er front forks.”

    A rigid fat fork up front, with a big, big tyre and sus at the back 😉

  22. I wonder which will be the most popular?
    100/140 or 130/160

  23. I wonder which will be the most popular?
    100/140 or 130/160

    [Harry Hill voice]
    There’s only one way to find out
    [/Harry Hill voice]

    Think it looks good. I’m going to put ‘Prototype’ on my bike now.

  24. I’ve always run longer travel forks on hecklers (past 13 years!?!) works fine when you have a reliable rear end (i.e. whatever the front lets you get through the back should cope with provided it’s a good rear system). However, the downsides are the heavy rider will blow shocks quickly if they are not up to the job and rear wheels take an absolute hammering!?! Tis a good idea and I reckon we’ll see a lot more of this.

  25. Tube profiles look a bit like a Transition Covert. Tidy.

  26. I have never understood why there is any controversy/excitement about “mismatched” travel. Emperors new clothes IMHO. HTs did it as soon as any suspension fork was added.

  27. As a 140mm travel hardtail rider the idea mismatched travel appeals, 140mm at both ends is too much day in day out for the riding I do, but it’d be nice to have 100mm or so travel in the rear to take the edge off.

  28. The lower link probably moves the shock longitudinally rather than lateraly?

  29. excellent – well thought out and without bowing to any corporation marketing BS 🙂

    my VF2 rums 127mm rear / 150mm front and is sublime.

    i’m liking the ragger 🙂

  30. Sounds more like a Pace RC405 than a Trance IMHO. Tiny differences in pivot locations can make it ride completely differently though.
    Need to see the leverage ratio graphs etc. 🙂

  31. “I have never understood why there is any controversy/excitement about “mismatched” travel. ”

    Agreed, although I’m not sure there is much of either tbh.

    I think the DFS thing is meant tongue in cheek (correct me if I’m wrong).

  32. Ooh the 130/160 29″ might be an interesting machine.

  33. Hmm, my old stumpy with revs is 100 rear 130 front.. It’s ace.

  34. The lower link probably moves the shock longitudinally rather than lateraly?

    I thought that too – if there was lateral movement on a suspension system it would make for some very interesting rear axle paths.

  35. My Pitch has more travel at the back than the front….Bugger I have obviously been riding it back to front

  36. the current geometry greatly resembles that of 2011 marin eastpeak which i’m riding with a 120/140mm setup. stock was 120/120mm.

  37. and btw, it looks like the wordings are “photoshopped” onto a bare frame ;p

  38. What we hope to get with the mismatched travel thing being designed in, is that we’ll avoid the high BB and slack seat angle that either fitting a longer fork, or shorter shock to achieve the same can give.
    I’m off out for a play shortly. It’s survived a night ride under Ben from Recycle.

  39. so Brant, what does the axle path do – intrigued.

  40. Oh – that lower link thing – yes – what I mean is that the shock isn’t “squashed from both ends” as much as some of these styles of linkage bikes. The bottom shock mount doesn’t (in itself) compress the shock as much as the top one does. If you see what I mean…

  41. pace compresses from both ends – trek moves the bottom link down a little – all interesting stuff. what does the axle path do?

  42. I think I’m running 150mm front 110mm rear on my Hemlock. Match travel trail bikes always feel under forked to me. A personal thing though, I’m sure.

  43. It’s certainly the lack of fork travel that’s more noticeable/limiting on a shorter travel full sus bike (compared to the rear) IME.

  44. Having recently converted a 26″ 100mm forked SS hardtail to a rigid 69er I can see the appeal of mismatched travel doing similar things. I wonder though just how much better say a 100mm front and rear travel would be on a full sus 69er as an all round bike? Along flatter rough sections I’ve always found well matched and balanced travel just feels nicer, on a full sus at least.

  45. I run my 100mm ’93 Blur with a 140mm fork and it rides much better like that – big fan of disparate travel.

  46. Lyric and Angleset turning up today.

  47. At last. Ive had around 20mm minimum extra up front on a few bikes over the years and they all ride better than what they were supposed to have had.120/120mm etc.The most noticebale was a Whyte E120 (didnt own) but the thought of riding that or owning it with a 120mm fork on up front would have been awful.

    Cant wait for the company that comes out with a frame similar to a 2006 Turner Flux designed around 125-130mm up front.Slightly steeper seat tube built into the same geometry of that very bike would be a good start.

    I can only dream.

  48. Chipps wrote: “Disparate travel works pretty well on a hardtail doesn’t it?”

    It works pretty well,yeah. Ive also been dreaming about hardtails starting to appear with an axle to crown length of a 140mm fork but with around 80-100mm travel instead of the horrible sensation of a plush 140+ fork on a hardtail! Does anyone like a long travel fork working away whilst the rear end sits there doing nothing? It feels like a pivot point for uneccessary 140mm movement up front.Ive just never got into the whole feel of it on my hardtail. Hence why i put a 29er fork on it with short travel (similar axle to crown length) and a 26″ wheel. Same height up front but less crash-dive un needed travel.Perfect! So whose going to start making decent length short travel 20mm bolt thru forks? Sorry,going off the OP here.

  49. so you need a higher bar / head tube on a slacker angled frame ideally? and a reba 120mm maxle with the travel dropped to 100mm. sorted. 29er forks are only 20mm longer per travel than 26″.

    I like even travel as it’s most likely to have a constant geo under heavy compression, but even a 40mm mis-match is more even than an average HT so there’s no reason why not and the mismatches that i’ve ridden i always liked.
    HT’s ride pivoting around the r wheel which is a good teqhnique thing -look at BMX racers manualling through rollers- so a mismatch FS can encourage this. all good.

    the bike looked good in a field the other day, testers were happy..

  50. Why 140mm or 160mm fronts? Aren’t most “trail” forks 150mm these days? I assume that the 100mm frame will be for 130-150mm forks like the Blue Pig?

    Personally I was hoping for 120mm rear 150mm front but I guess that makes the longer travel version harder to market.. Maybe Orange will finally make the ST4 the bike that people want them to make or Banshee will put bearings on the Spitfire.

  51. rebas are 33mm longer in 29er mode so the overall diff would be 53mm shorter to what the bike i ride was designed around if i dropped a pair of those by 20mm. a high rise bar and a steep stem would be altering things like bar height from the ground but in other ways,killing it by having a bb low enough to catch my single ring on pebbles! A slacker headtube would be going in the wrong direction too.

  52. If it’s anything like Brant Richards’ previous incarnatons this will be a goodun and I’ve just bought a 5!

  53. “Why 140mm or 160mm fronts? Aren’t most “trail” forks 150mm these days? I assume that the 100mm frame will be for 130-150mm forks like the Blue Pig?”

    I’ve been having just these discussions in my own head, and with other people over the past few days.

    Certainly the weight difference between Revs/Sektors and Lyrics, for instance, is quite considerable, but then the ride difference is also significant.

    I am pretty confident that the 130mm frame will work happily with 150-170mm, and the short travel with 120-140 or even 150mm. A bit of testing to do yet on those aspects.

    Then it’s just a matter of nailing BB height, sag, ride height, that kind of thing.

    Lots of riding then 🙂

  54. Brant – can you confirm that the seat tube will be mostly un-interrupted? I.e. the rocker pivot will be mounted in front (Turner Horst link style) rather than through (Giant reign style).

  55. oi Richards, lets have a looky at the mud clearance on the arse end please? my “saving for a five” fund has got all twitchy!

  56. Brant – I’ve got a spare 140mm fork and parts for a build, send up a frame and I’ll test it for ya and give you a direct comparision to a 5.

  57. “Then it’s just a matter of nailing BB height, sag, ride height, that kind of thing.”

    and building one from 4130 instead of recycled Special Brew cans.

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